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Entrepreneurial motivation

AtLAS is convinced that athletes make great entrepreneurs. However, we are curious about the academic foundation of our believes.

Even though targeted research into athlete entrepreneurs is still limited, first attempts show that sport is one of the most entrepreneurial fields. The scope of this entrepreneurial activity reaches from extending the athlete brand in sport, e.g. through new leagues, tournaments or broadcasting stations, to launching sporting and non-sporting goods and services.

Drivers for self-employment

Athletes engaging in entrepreneurship is not a novel phenomenon but we wanted to know what their motivations were for this engagement. Here are some of the most relevant motivations that we found during our extensive literature review:

  • Exploiting the existing athlete brand: athletes can build on their success by using their name and persona in a business venture.
  • Dealing with uncertainty: self-employment is appealing as it offers independence and fulfilment during times of transition.
  • Advantage of social capital: athletes have key resources available to them in terms of knowledge, potential financial resources and influential contacts from their established social, professional and charitable relationships.
  • First-hand experience of gaps: athletes first-hand experience possible gaps in the market and can create novel solutions and change for future generations of athletes.
  • Societal motivations: some athletes are motivated by the opportunity to create change for minorities, women or the less fortunate by putting the influence they have to good use or give back to their communities.

This list obviously is not exhaustive as every individual is motivated by different factors but it provided a first impression of possible incentives. Do you recognize one of these motivations? Get in contact via email if you want to know more about how AtLAS can assist your entrepreunerial ambitions.


  • Ali, H. S., Shahid, N., Javed, I. S., & Jawaria, K. (2018). Challenges that Make/Break the Athlete’s quest to become an entrepreneur: A qualitative study about fans’ perceptions
  • Bosma, N., Hessels, J., Schutjens, V. Van Praag, M., & Verheul, I. (2012). Entrepreneurship and role models
  • González-Serrano, M.H., Valantine, I., Crespo-Hervás, J., Pérez-Campos, C. and Calabuig-Moreno, F. (2018). Sports university education and entrepreneurial intentions: a comparison between Spain and Lithuania
  • LoRé, Michael (2019). Dale Moss’ Mission To Empower Disadvantaged Entrepreneurs
  • Puyana, M., Gálvez-Ruiz, P., Sánchez-Oliver, A. and Fernández, J. (2019). Intentions of entrepreneurship in sports science higher education: gender the moderator effect
  • Ratten, V., & Miragaia, D. (2020). Entrepreneurial passion amongst female athletes